Monthly Archives: August 2016

FIRST CLASS, FIRST ROW

FIRST CLASS, FIRST ROW

Designer Sabyasachi drew in Deepika Padukone and Karisma Kapoor, among a bevy of stars, for his sumptuous grand finale at the Lakme Fashion Week

Painting towns red

While Poonam Bhagat seems to be getting quite a rough time in her marital dispute with Jai Shroff, the husband doesn’t seem to worry much. He’s been painting quite a few towns red with his social life we hear. A fortnight or so ago, he holidayed with his putative girlfriend Natalia Kapchuk in the south of France. Our friends there spotted the two cycling away around the area. While we also hear that they spent some time with his children on a yacht called the Robusta in the Mediterranean. The yacht was fitted with top-line Ukranian concierge services too, and we know Kapuchuk hails from Ukraine. Then, at Ravi and Madhu Ruia’s home last week where Sangita Kathiwada was also a guest, Shroff accompanied Payal Girdharlal (the former wife of Atyla Mafatlal) and another lady whose name we will keep to ourselves for now. The other lady is a much married socialite who lives between London and Uganda (where her husband has business interests). She also visited Shroff in Park Lane’s posh Dorchester hotel in London recently. Of course we’re only saying they are good friends, perhaps very good friends.

Theatrical treat

The exhibition that mesmerised the culturati in Delhi now comes to Mumbai. We are naturally excited about The Theatre of E Alkazi, a retrospective exhibition of thespian Ebrahim Alkazi’s theatre work – he started his theatrical stint in Mumbai – will be mounted at the National Gallery of Modern Art soon. The exhibition, curated by his daughter and former director of the National School of Drama, Amal Allana, features rare photographs, objects, archival documents, and models of stage sets from his iconic plays such as Three Penny Opera and Miss Julie. We also look forward to finding rare pictures of a young Om Puri in Suryamukh and Kusum Bahl (now Haider) just 16, a student of Alkazi’s school of dramatic arts, playing Antigone.

Friends again?

The lovely Kareena Kapoor Khan, who on Sunday walked the fashion runway for designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, is glowing even more than usual thanks to her pregnancy. She’s also almost always in good cheer, say those close to her. Perhaps this is why she had warmed up to her former boyfriend Shahid Kapur. Kapur and his wife Mira were blessed with their first child– a daughter– on Friday. Kapoor Khan was quick to send him a congratulatory message. Of course we know that Saif Ali Khan is now acting with Shahid in an upcoming movie, but we especially like those who let bygones rest in peace.

Gal pals forever

Guess who is new besties with Zhu Zhu, the Chineze actor who co-stars along with Salman Khan in Kabir Khan’s next? Iulia Vantur of course. Salman’s alleged love interest and the Asian actor are apparently getting on like the proverbial house on fire. During the film’s first schedule at Leh, Khan had asked Vantur to make friends with his co-star and make her feel at home. Zhu Zhu and Vantur turned out to gel rather well. In fact we hear the two message each other often during the day, and are often chatting as young women are wont to do. With Zhu Zhu’s wild party images out on online sites lately, we wonder what Khan will say next.

Tailpiece

It’s the kind of love story that’s only spoken of in hushed tones. Not just because one among these two erudite and elegant gentlemen is married with children, but also because the pair have lent such grace to their friendship. The former head of a healthcare major and a senior journalist have been more than friends since their boarding school days. But societal norms and a sense of propriety kept them playing their roles traditionally. It is only recently, with a newfound respect that alternate love stories are finding, that the two have decided to make their love public. The pair is seen in each other’s company at soirees, and even hosts a few together. So long as everyone is happy ever after.Read more at:cocktail dresses | evening dresses

F J Benjamin bags rights to Marc Jacobs distributorship

The American designer Marc Jacobs, who injected edge into Louis Vuitton during his stint there as creative director, is set to open his own brand-name stores here.

The move is part of exclusive distribution rights, secured by Singapore-listed fashion and lifestyle group F J Benjamin Holdings, and includes Malaysia and Indonesia.

Four Marc Jacobs stores will open in the next two years, but no specific details were provided.

 

(Photo:short formal dresses australia)The stores will carry Marc Jacobs’ women’s ready-to-wear, shoes, jewellery, bags and accessories, and is different from the more affordable Marc by Marc Jacobs line, which is distributed by Club 21 in Singapore.

It remains to be seen if this move will boost fortunes at F J Benjamin.

Marc Jacobs’ parent firm, the French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said last year it would discontinue the Marc by Marc Jacobs line.

However, it had also said earlier this month that “it did not plan to sell the loss-making Marc Jacobs company”, reported Reuters.

F J Benjamin has had to battle the tough retail scene in Singapore, closing the last store of its home- grown label Raoul here in the Paragon mall in February. However, it is still available online.

F J Benjamin group chief operations officer Douglas Benjamin told The Straits Times in April: “We didn’t want to keep the Paragon store open and pay the rents that were being asked. Right now, we are focusing on our wholesale business in the United States and Europe.”

A string of chain stores have given up here this year.

Home-grown fashion retailer Jay Gee Melwani spoke of its plans in April to close eight stores here in the second half of the year.

The affected brands were British name New Look and French menswear chain Celio.

The Al-Futtaim Group, the Dubai-based owner of Robinsons and John Little, is also shutting 10 outlets here under its distribution and retailing arm RSH.

In 2014, F J Benjamin reported its first loss since the 2008 financial crisis, and later found itself in the red for the third straight quarter by September last year.

The exception was a net profit for the three months to Dec 31 in 2014, with a rise in earnings mainly owing to gains from the partial sale of convertible bonds issued by its Indonesian associated company.

The firm announces its fourth- quarter results today.

While the retail scene is in the doldrums, the firm has not stopped investing in other areas, such as its luxury business.

It opened its second Celine and Givenchy boutiques at Marina Bay Sands in 2014, and brought in Pretty Ballerinas, a popular ballerina pump and flat-shoe brand from Spain, last year.

Prices of the shoes range from $160, for children’s sizes, to $560. The brand had to move from a 230 sq ft store at Paragon to a shop with twice the space in the same mall in 2015 due to strong demand.

F J Benjamin declined to reveal how well the brand is doing here, but Pretty Ballerinas founder David Bell said in February that Singapore was its best-performing market in Asia, adding that its ballerina-style shoes do better in Asia than in Europe or the United States.

F J Benjamin Holdings shares closed flat at 4.6 cents yesterday.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses australia

Houston Style Setter: Lauren Gayden

Laurengayden stylessetter zg1r8q 

(Photo:formal dresses 2016)LAUREN GAYDEN’S PERSONALITY is as bright and vivacious as the colorful clothes in her wardrobe. You’ll find this Houston Style Setter—who manages the box office for Houston Ballet, Alley Theatre and other venues—setting the scene ablaze at all the latest performances and gallery openings across the city, often stopping to linger over a glass of wine afterwards. Tune in as Lauren gives us the lowdown on where to find the best cocktail dresses for those with curves, what bar has the best frosé, and the hot spots to hit up downtown after your favorite performances.

Q: You have so many gorgeously vibrant pieces in your wardrobe! What about bright colors speaks to you?

A: Growing up I was always in awe of mosaics and frescoes. The combinations of colors that could fit together could be endless. I strive to create my own fashion mosaics through color choices that highlight and accent my skin tone. While shopping, I search for pieces that can make a statement or pair well while being timeless.

Q: As an integral part of the Houston Ballet, you must have a million cocktail dresses for performances. Where are your favorite places to shop?

A: I try not to limit where searching for beauty may take me, but I do find in searching for unique plus-size looks that I purchase many web exclusives with Avenue, IGIGI, and Lane Bryant. They have some fashions that are more boutique-style and some exclusive designer lines that are not in store. I am also loyal to the INC International Concepts brand at Macy’s and I find some great looks at Nordstrom too!

Q: The Houston Ballet season is about to begin! What performance are you most looking forward to in the 2016-2017 season?

A: There is so much to look forward to, but I am bursting with excitement about the new production of The Nutcracker, our Director’s Choice program Legends and Prodigy, and our new co-production of The Tempest. We have such a dynamic group of artists and they will have the so many opportunities this season to master new works that will leave us in awe as we experience the excitement as we progress through the season!

Q: You are one of Houston’s most fervent patrons of the arts. What arts groups are you most excited about right now?

A: In addition to Houston Ballet, I am so excited for the Museum of Fine Arts upcoming Degas exhibit; the Alley Theatre has an exciting season decorated with new works ahead, and Society for the Performing Arts has great variety of music and dance that I am looking forward to attending this season.

Q: In your spare time, you are a connoisseur of fine wines, we want to know your thoughts on the latest wine trend: frosé.

A: I have been witnessing a fierce social push for this trendy warm-weather concoction. Although there are many versions, recently I enjoyed a decadent take on frosé at Canard. I think it has staying power, especially if you are partaking while out enjoying our warm Houston summer nights.

Q: What are the best restaurants and bars within walking distance to the Wortham?

A: There are a growing number of options in the area, but the ones I enjoy are The Honeymoon Café & Bar, Char Bar, Moving Sidewalk, Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar, Lawless Spirits and Kitchen and Hearsay Gastro Lounge.

Q: When you hit the road for vacation, where is your favorite destination outside of Houston for fun and what do you do there?

A: One of my favorites that I have visited many times is New York City. Honestly, there would be a tie with Seattle, a city I equally adore for similar reasons, but with completely different experiences. I love to visit places where I can experience the city with a good blend of tourist and local feel. I adore learning about culture, history, art, technology, culinary experiences, and fashion; New York City marries these experiences dynamically and you can continue to find new treasures each time you visit.Read more at:long evening dresses australia

Style Week Pittsburgh delivers strong events in fourth year

Believe it or not, most months out of the year there’s a fashion function almost every weekend in Pittsburgh. Therefore, it can be tough for an event to shape its identity and be more than just a blip on the social scene.

Style Week Pittsburgh proved that it’s a fashionable force to be reckoned with. Its fourth year of festivities, which spanned Thursday through Sunday, demonstrated its greatest growth and marked improvement.

The opening night runway show was arguably Style Week’s strongest to date. The Carnegie Museum of Art’s music hall foyer was a stunning backdrop for the ’20s- and ’60s-themed fashion show featuring striking looks inspired by those eras by Pittsburgh-based designers James Houk and Leesa Kassler. A small exhibit of photos from the museum’s Charles “Teenie” Harris archive and vintage ensembles from local boutiques provided additional insights into the styles from past decades.

What elevated the experience was the showmanship and production quality. Like the fashions, music was a mix of oldies and current tunes with a retro vibe that had many grooving in their seats or clapping along to the beat. Another nice touch was the choreography by Synergy Performing Arts Academy in Canonsburg. Rather than models just marching down the catwalk, they mixed in a few dance moves from the two eras that kept the audience energized and the show well paced.

On Day Two, people packed inside Culture Restaurant on Seventh Street, Downtown, for the annual Style Awards, which recognized some of the city’s top fashion influencers, including boutique owners, stylists, bloggers and photographers. This event appears to still be experiencing growing pains. While it continues to draw more and more attendees, it has yet to find the right venue. While Culture is a cool new hangout, it was a bit noisy, cramped and stuffy, with guests spilling out the front and side doors during the ceremony. Perhaps a ballroom in one of the city’s boutique hotels or a restaurant with private banquet space could be a more comfortable option next time.

The action moved to the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh in East Liberty on Saturday for live music, body art by Sarah Zeffiro and displays from about a dozen of the city’s street wear and vintage brands. Style Week Pittsburgh also teamed with Studio RAW in Ross to give makeovers to a handful of people who identify as transgender and gender fluid. The hip, fit-for-Brooklyn flavor of it all kept the party going until midnight. On Sunday, Style Week Pittsburgh wrapped with a networking brunch at the new Revel + Roost restaurant near Market Square.

Founder Wadria Taylor started Style Week Pittsburgh to spotlight some of the city’s hidden gems in fashion and the arts. It was refreshing to discover venues, vendors and designers that are new, or up and coming. Plus, they were presented through gatherings that ran smoothly and had something unique to offer night after night.

Style Week Pittsburgh also should be commended for the cross section of folks -— black, white, young, old, city dwellers, suburbanites, gay, straight — it brings together. In a city that’s often criticized for being too fragmented (at least when it comes to its fashion community), it was encouraging to see new connections being made over a cocktail or a pop-up shop purchase.

Keep up the solid work, Style Week Pittsburgh!Read more at:evening gowns | short formal dresses australia

Hosts of ‘Your Morning’ say show will offer wide variety of news

Your Morning 

(Photo:long evening dresses)When CTV’s “Your Morning” debuts Monday, co-host Ben Mulroney hopes it will challenge some viewers’ opinions of what is newsworthy — and of who he is.

“The definition of news to me is a little broader than the way some people have seen it in the past,” says Mulroney, who also co-hosts CTV’s entertainment program “eTalk.”

“And so I think we’re going to have a lot of fun playing with the notion of what is newsworthy and how can we tell those stories, and demonstrate to people that: ‘You might not think that .OscarsSoWhite was a story that mattered to you. Here’s why it matters to you, and here’s the impact of this sporting event or that fashion show.”‘

He also hopes the show will help Canadians see a different side of him.

“I think there’s perhaps an assumption by some that what I do for a living perhaps defines the things that interest me, and that would be foolish…. This is going to be a show that allows me to explore (other) interests and by extension, bring Canada along for the ride.”

“Your Morning” replaces “Canada AM,” which was abruptly pulled off the air with one day’s notice for viewers in June after a 43-season run.

Set at Bell Media’s downtown Toronto headquarters, it has a new set with windows that open up to the street.

Mulroney and Anne-Marie Mediwake will host alongside meteorologist Kelsey McEwen and anchors Lindsey Deluce and Melissa Grelo.

Guests in the first week include Toronto-born NBA player Tristan Thompson, Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson and sportscaster Brian Williams.

“What I hope to be able to do for this show is bring something to Canadian morning television maybe that doesn’t exist right now,” says Mediwake, “and that is, to bring people the news the way that they consume it currently — so on more than one platform and on more than one topic.”

Mediwake says in their first week, each team member will be seen in pre-taped segments visiting a different place in Canada that’s significant to them. For her, that’s Brooks, Alta., and Lethbridge, Alta., where she grew up.

“Viewers will be able to expect and appreciate that there will be news from their parts of Canada in ‘Your Morning,’ because it’s part of your morning,’ she says.

Mulroney says they’ll focus on the biggest trending story of the day, whether that’s hard or soft news, or sports.

He’s looking “forward to showing Canadians that fun doesn’t necessarily mean frivolous, that you can have fun in the morning and still do serious work, just as they do on a lot of the American shows.”

“I point specifically to Matt Lauer, who has been able to cover the Golden Globes red carpet, get on a plane, come home and explain the economic meltdown to Americans, or dress as the Pope for Halloween and a month later be sitting at the Vatican talking to the Pope.”

Mulroney and Mediwake say part of the appeal of working on a morning show is the ability to spend time with their kids (they each have three). They also love the idea of building something from scratch.

Both also have past morning-show experience — Mulroney with stints on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “Live! With Kelly,” and Mediwake anchoring at Global and CBC.

Still, the hours will take some getting used to.

“I’m a little terrified!” says Mediwake, who was previously co-host of CBC Toronto’s evening news.

“This is a complete flip for my entire household. Normally I was on the air from 6 to 7 p.m. Now I’m on the air from 6 to 9 a.m.”

For “Canada AM” fans who are hesitant to give the new show a shot, both Mulroney and Mediwake point out that they both worked on that show and feel its legacy lives on with “Your Morning.”

“It doesn’t take too much effort to tune in. It’s a flick of a switch and if you like what you see, stick around with it, because it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Mulroney says.

“We’re going to grow into something really special, I think, and it’s something that we haven’t done in Canada in a very long time and something that I think people probably didn’t even know they wanted, didn’t know they needed until it’s going to show up on their screens.”Read more at:www.marieaustralia.com

Regina backs out of fashion show over fee issue

Regina Cassandra 

(Photo:cheap formal dresses)South sensation Regina Cassandra, who was last seen in Telugu movie, Shourya, is cashing in on her popularity. Considering how well known she is, organisers of the Madras Bridal Fashion Week approached the actress to make an appearance as a show-stopper. But they were left in the lurch when the actress backed out at the eleventh hour.

Says a source close to the actress, “Regina backed out from the fashion week to walk as a show-stopper for free. The organisers even offered to gift her the show-stopper outfit.”

It seems like money was an issue for Regina, and the source confirms. “Regina instead opted for another big-ticket for a fatter pay cheque,” the source says. Attempts to contact the actress were unsuccessful.

Aditi hikes fee

While Aditi Rao Hydari was in the news for her rumoured affair with Wazir co-star Farhan Akhtar earlier this year, she’s now in the eye of the storm for allegedly hiking her fees up for walking the ramp at fashion shows.

A source close to the actress reveals, “Aditi has upped her price to walk the ramp for an upcoming fashion week. Earlier, the actress would charge between Rs 2 and Rs 3 lakh but now the actress has increased her fee to Rs 6 lakh.

Several designers have approached the actress, but she seems to be giving a tough time to all.” The source added, “None of the designers have roped in the actress so far, considering her high demands, and are planning to zero down on other actresses for the same.”

When contacted, Aditi’s spokesperson refuted the rumours. “Aditi has been declining offers from several designers since she’s not in the country during those dates, and her travel dates were blocked way in advance.”Read more at:plus size evening wear

8 beauty tips from Estee Lauder make-up artist Bobby Wang

8 beauty tips from Estee Lauder make-up artist Bobby WangThe Singapore-based make-up expert from Shanghai has been with Estee Lauder since 2013.

The bachelor created make-up looks for New York Fashion Week in 2012 and 2013. He has worked with magazines such as Vogue China, Cosmopolitan Malaysia and Elle China.

1. ALWAYS USE EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER TO REMOVE MASCARA

Failing to do so leaves stains that can make you look tired and unhealthy. In the long term, the stains could become permanent.

2. DO NOT CLEANSE YOUR SKIN MORE THAN THREE TIMES A DAY

Excessive washing strips away the skin’s natural protective barrier and makes it more dehydrated, causing the skin to produce more oil.

3. EXFOLIATE YOUR LIPS

This applies to men as well. Keep lips smooth by exfoliating up to twice a week with a lip scrub and applying a layer of lip balm after to moisturise the skin.

4. USE A CUSHION COMPACT FOR TOUCH-UPS

Using a cushion compact, rather than a powder compact, for touch-ups provides a smoother look. Foundation will not appear cakey even after multiple touch-ups.

5. DRINK MORE WATER

Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is important and beneficial for your skin.

6. MATCH BLUSH TO LIPS

To pick the perfect everyday cheek colour, choose a shade that matches your natural lip colour. You can never go wrong.

7. SCRUB FOR A SMOOTH SHAVE

Men should exfoliate their skin at least once a week. Removing dead skin cells will help prevent bristles on the jawline and reduce chances of getting cuts.

8. DON’T USE OLD MAKE-UP

Old make-up could contain bacteria. Check expiry dates and throw away make-up that smells or looks different from when you bought it.Read more at:black formal dresses | blue formal dresses

10 Things to Know About Dating in New York City by Lauren Urasek

Lauren Urasek 

(Photo:blue formal dresses)1) There are A LOT of options

This can be great and also rather horrible. Since you’re not in a small town, you’re not forced to date the same 5 people that you’ve known since you were 12 years old. Also, if someone doesn’t work out then having tons of options means there is always someone else right around the corner.

However, having a lot of options can not be so awesome when everyone just wants the next best thing. People don’t necessarily give the date they’re on a chance because they know they can get on their phone and keep swiping away.

2) You might wind up with a great story

New York City is full of creative, inspiring, and just straight up interesting people so when you’re going out with someone from the internet or someone you met on the subway, you never really know what you’re getting yourself into. A dinner date can turn into a date that doesn’t end for 24 hours or that super seemingly normal dude can wind up taking you to his amazing rooftop where you’ll makeout for a couple hours under the city lights.

3) You’ll see people IRL that you’ve seen on Tinder/OkCupid/Bumble/etc.

I’m pretty sure the majority of the single population in New York is on some sort of dating site. And while you’d think it’s very hard to run into people in a city of 8.4 million, I definitely saw plenty of dudes that I saw on Tinder a few days prior.

4) Expectations are very low

WAIT. He asked me on a second date and figured out all the details? What is this…a f*cking fairytale? People are so flakey with dating in large cities that the second a guy actually follows up after a first date or offers to come to your neighborhood, you’re in love. Dating in NYC for so long leaves you with no expectations. You can go on a first date that seems to go perfectly and you might never hear from that person again. So when you do meet someone that follows through with their word and shows you the slightest bit of interest post-first date, it’s a miracle.

5) Dating is expensive

Well, less expensive for women, but still expensive. Drinks and food aren’t necessarily cheap in New York. A drink usually runs you around $10-15 and if you go somewhere decent to sit down for a meal, you’re gonna spend some money. And if you’re doing this multiple times a week, some of those dates better be a walk around the park.

6) Ghosting is very common

It’s really easy to never run into someone ever again in New York so if someone who doesn’t feel like dealing with confrontation decides they’re not interested in you, prepare to never hear from them again with no explanation.

7) Everyone has weird schedules

A 9-5 job can be rare so when everyone is working crazy long hours and attending lots of events finding a time to actually date can prove difficult.

Women tend to date older

There’s just something about a city that makes the dudes not want to “settle down” til they’re 40 or so. When I was living in New York, I seemed to date about 10 years older than me at all times and wouldn’t even mess with anyone under the age of 30 because they most likely still lived with 3 roommates and wanted to go out drinking every night.

9) Most everyone’s style is pretty casual

Dating isn’t such a big deal because everyone is doing it and doing it often. You’ll rarely find a girl in a glamorous dress and heels going on a first date. You’re walking around constantly so heels are usually a no-go and most first dates start at a bar so what’s the point of dressing up? New York is all about casual style and looking confident even if you’re wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

10) Be prepared to date someone in your borough

My Tinder radius was always set for ‘within 2 miles’ of me. If it wasn’t, chances were that my prospective boyfriend lived in Manhattan or Queens when I lived in Brooklyn. When you don’t have a car (like most people in New York) most places over a couple miles are FAR. And when I say far, I mean it can take you a hour to get 5 miles. I’m not saying it’s not impossible to date someone outside of your borough but I am saying it’s quite the commitment.Read more at:pink formal dresses

Bucks Fizz star Jay Aston relives coach crash horror and says ‘we were all lucky to survive’

I had no idea when I auditioned for Bucks Fizz that it would take off in the way it did. We surprised everyone, including ourselves, by winning the Eurovision Song Contestwith Making Your Mind Up. We started making more records and going on tour, and so began a hectic whirlwind life.

But one winter’s night in December 1984, our luck ran out.

We had just performed our second show of a 40-night tour in Newcastle, and had all got on our touring bus to be taken back to the hotel. Mike and Cheryl were right at the front, while Bobby G was sitting right at the back.

I had planned to sit at the front too, but I’d headed to the loo at the rear. Next to it was a little kitchen area. I remember picking up a tangerine that was rolling around, and then spotting my manager Jill, so I started to chat to her instead.

Next moment, an articulated lorry hit us. I remember a few seconds later thinking “Oh, I’m alive” and wondering if my arm was broken. Jill was unconscious beside me with broken ribs and a punctured lung.

I then blacked out for about 20 minutes or so before coming round again. My face was cold. The bus roof was no longer there.

There were about 20 of us on the coach at the time. Only two people escaped without injury. The driver, Cheryl and Mike and the guitarist all went through the windscreen and ended up on the tarmac.

I had hit the right side of my head and the whole of the left side of my body was paralysed as a result. Luckily for me, I had been wearing a very thick leather hat, and leather jacket, both the fashion at the time. At the hospital, the surgeon later said he thought the hat had probably saved me from a lot worse damage.

I had scans which showed I probably had bruising of the brain. My legs were also badly gashed across the shins. My nose was fractured and some ribs broken.

Mike was worst off. He and the keyboard player technically died and had the last rites read because their injuries were so severe. Cheryl broke vertebrae in her back and had a lot of tarmac embedded in her legs. Bobby G got whiplash and back problems. It was a devastating time.

By Christmas, I was allowed to go home to Jersey to be with some of my family – my parents were away abroad. I spent six weeks in a nursing home there, having daily physiotherapy to improve co-ordination on the left side of my body.

I also was suffering temporary memory loss. That went on for a few months. I was told it was a side effect of the brain injury too. I eventually went back to my house in West London to take it easy. My ribs were left to heal themselves. The tendon on one rib didn’t really knit together properly and I can still hear it click sometimes. I had to walk with a stick for another month.

As the band had work booked in Mauritius in April to film a TV show, we were all just thinking, “let’s get over this and get back onto our feet again”. In hindsight, it probably was too soon for us to be back working, as the crash meant that injuries manifested themselves later on. A couple of months after that, I knew I had to quit. I was still feeling unwell and the crash had affected me emotionally.

Things kept playing on my mind. I kept thinking if I’d gone to the loo in the coach instead of talking to Jill I’d have been crushed to death. Or if I’d stayed at the front of the coach like Mike and Cheryl, would I have ended up going through the windscreen too?

I was still getting stomach problems because the microwave from the kitchen area of the coach had hit me in the abdomen during the impact. I was also getting lower back and neck problems. I felt very twisted and had to see an osteopath who manipulated my back, neck and pelvis for quite a long time.

Of course, life got very difficult after that too as I was involved in several lawsuits because the management weren’t happy with my decision to leave.

Within a year, I had an operation to straighten my nose, and it took another year of building myself up, working on my weaker left side, to really start to feel like I was getting better. I am left-handed so it was my strongest side affected the most.

Apart from this major accident, the only other health issue I’ve had was with my knees. As a ballet mad nine-year-old, I got a lot of pain in my right knee. I was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease, where a kneecap tendon gets inflamed. The floor I was dancing on at the time was half sprung and half concrete, which didn’t help my joints.

I was in and out of hospital for two and half years, in plaster, having physio, or on crutches. It was very painful. My left knee was also affected and it went on until I was 14 when my bones stopped growing.

It left me with my left leg an inch longer than my right too and meant I became a singer instead of a dancer.

Over the years, I’ve been a solo performer, and also run dance and drama schools. The accident really taught me not to take anything for granted, and to live each day as if it’s your last.

We were all lucky to walk away with our lives that night.

Every year thousands of people sustain brain injuries across the UK from accidents at work to sporting injuries, and road traffic accidents. In 2013-14, there were 162,544 hospital admissions for head injuries alone. That’s 445 a day, or one every three minutes.

Even a seemingly innocuous knock to the head can have a major impact. While many people will not suffer lasting effects of such injuries, complications can occur.

It can lead to difficulties such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, irritability and memory problems.

Following a head injury, it is important for the individual and those around them to look out for symptoms such as severe headaches, deafness in one or both ears, blurred vision, vomiting, or inability to be woken or drowsiness when you would usually be awake. If in doubt, get it checked out.

Survivors of more serious brain injury are likely to have complex long- term problems affecting their personality, their relationships and their ability to lead an independent life.

Even with good rehabilitation, support and help in the community, survivors and their families are likely to face uncertain and challenging futures.

But with the right support, at the right time, we know there can be life after brain injury.Read more at:formal dresses online australia | evening dresses online

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson: ‘I still get really anxious’

You won’t catch Tara Palmer-Tomkinson sunning herself this summer.

“I don’t put myself in the sun…” she says curtly. “It’s very ageing. Yesterday I could see all these people outside restaurants and they all looked pretty revolting. Lobster red, all wearing white, they’d overdone their make-up to overcompensate. I’m not by any means perfect, but you do what you can, so not going in the sun is what I try to do.”

The way Tara alludes to her party-girl past almost immediately is both disarming and refreshing – much like Tara herself. There are no pretences and she has an unapologetic, ‘I am what I am’ attitude that is instantly likeable, particularly when she recalls some of her wilder days.

‘I definitely have regrets’

“I definitely have regrets. I wish I had never touched half the stuff…” There’s a slight pause. “But in the same way, I’m not going to sit there and feel ashamed for what I did, because I have had a life! I might be 44, but I was at so many different parties in so many different countries, I haven’t slept for 20 years!

“The things that mattered to me a long time ago don’t matter anymore. What matters to me now is health. Because I’ve paid a price for my health, and I wish I had given up cigarettes a long time ago… I’ve always been very health-conscious, but when you’re 44, you don’t wake up looking the same way.”

The socialite and It-girl first shot to fame in the early Nineties because of her wild late-night antics, which made her easy fodder for the British tabloids.

A goddaughter of Prince Charles, she became increasingly well known to the public for appearances in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Blind Date and Top Gear.

Stepping back from the party scene

In recent years, Tara has taken a step back from the party scene and reinvented herself as a musician (she plays piano and sings) and now designer, putting her energies into her fashion line Desiderata.

The inspiration for the name, which is Latin for ‘desired things’, stems from Tara’s childhood.

“My uncle used to read me the poem ‘Desiderata’ when I was a child. He used to say, ‘Come my little desired things’. [The poem’s] a mantra to me.”

Her Kubbi design is a ‘secret shirt’ – an acrylic body, with a man’s shirt cotton cuffs and collar.

“I do love that collar and cuff look,” says Tara, who used to cut up her father’s shirts and Sellotape them under her jumpers as a teen. “I just think it looks demure.”

Although starting her own fashion brand has been a brave new world for Tara – “A grave new world!” she jokes – she’s been thrilled to see her hard work pay off, with celebrities wearing her Kubbi.

‘I can’t give you the answer to anxiety’

She also suffers from anxiety and has turned to yoga to help.

“I’ve tried meditation, I’ve tried yoga, I’ve tried looking in the mirror and thinking about who I want to be – I can’t give you the answer to anxiety because I still get really anxious…”

Currently single, she says she doesn’t want to get married or have babies (“I’m terrified of them”), but then contradicts herself when asked what her most desired thing would be.

Most desired thing

“The ultimate man who absolutely adores me and actually married me for no other reason than love… My intials may be TPT, but they could probably be ATM,” she says drily, before quickly adding: “If I could find a hero like my father, and have a marriage like that, then that would be the man I desire.

“I don’t think I’d get so anxious if I had a man on my side… all the people who aren’t anxious, they’re probably told every night how beautiful they are. I have been followed by packs of men, and I live alone, and they go through my rubbish. Also, you become anxious because you’ve seen what people said [about you] and for all the good news you read, the bad things are always easier to believe.”

Today though, Tara is enjoying the successes of her fashion range – and that’s putting a smile on her face.

“I’m just waiting for one last final hurdle with Desiderata, and once I’ve jumped over that, I will have designed the most beautiful Christmas collection. I’d like everyone to feel marvellous wearing my Kubbis.

“That would be my dream today, if someone said, ‘Oh my God, this was so worth it’.”Read more at:bridesmaid dresses | evening dresses australia